Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Game 62: Manuel blows another scoring opportunity, Phils win (37-25)

The Phillies defeated Hiroki Kuroda and the LA Dodgers tonight by a 2-0 score. Ryan Madson pitched the 9th for the save after a fantastic 8-inning performance from Cole Hamels. Charlie Manuel rested both Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley (fine), but he continues to allow the lineup to be unnecessarily aggressive.

In the bottom of the 5th inning with the score still 0-0, Michael Martinez hit a two-out triple. Kuroda then walked Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino to load the bases. One of the pitches to Victorino was behind the batter. He was clearly struggling with his control.

Because of the two infielders getting the day off, Dom Brown batted second in the lineup. He then came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and correctly took the first pitch, which was out of the strike zone. The 1-0 pitch was up around his neck area, yet neither Brown nor Manuel thought it was a good time to force Kuroda to throw a strike. Insanity. When a pitcher is struggling to find the strike zone, the bat making contact with the ball is his best friend: especially with the bases loaded!

Despite Brown's awful approach to the at-bat, he still worked a full count. He did not walk. It probably would have been a much different result if he just stood there with the bat on his shoulders until Kuroda threw a strike. They did not score in the inning.

However, since Cole Hamels is pitching like a Cy Young candidate and Ryan Howard popped a solo homer, Manuel's terrible offensive game plan did not cost the Phillies a win.

They scored 6 runs in the series but managed to take 2 out of 3, which is pretty much par for the course so far.

With Valdez on Sunday, Utley yesterday, and Brown tonight swinging in blatant take-situations, it is pretty obvious that the manager has no thoughts on influencing his batters. Expect an inefficient offense for the remainder of the season.

Tomorrow the Phillies open a four game seires against the dreadful Chicago Cubs at 7:05 pm when Kyle Kendrick faces RHP Randy Wells.

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